December Building Permit Value Decreases

The total value of building permits decreased 4.1 per cent to $9.1 billion in December, following a month during which several high value permits were issued, says Statistics Canada. Declines were reported in every component except single-family dwellings. Gains in seven provinces, led by Newfoundland and Labrador, were largely offset by a significant decrease in Ontario (-13.2 per cent). All three non-residential components – commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings – reported declines as the overall sector fell 10.8 per cent to $2.7 billion in December. Four provinces recorded a decrease in the value of non-residential permits. Ontario (-30.5 per cent) posted the largest decline, following a significant increase in the province in the previous month. Single-family homes rose seven per cent to $3.1 billion, surpassing the previous record of $2.9 billion set in October 2016. Six provinces posted gains in this component, led by Ontario (6.8 per cent) and Quebec (11.1per cent). The national value for multi-family dwellings declined 7.2 per cent to $3.3 billion, largely because of a 12.8 per cent drop in Ontario. Four other provinces also reporting a decrease in this component.